The development of buildings in relation to the design process is increasingly based on sustainable aspects in order to ensure the value of real estate at an early stage. Due to this aspect an application of a holistic cost-analysis is important as such an approach combines production costs and user costs for the life-cycle cost calculation on the one hand with the identification of the expected yield during the operating phase on the other hand.

Comparing revenue and expenses, the life-cycle return can be calculated and the results can be used as a prognostic factor for the profitability of an investment. Based on the analysis of all relevant costs and incomes for the life cycle it’s possible to identify capabilities and variants of component combinations and building arrangements at an early stage. As a result, operational aspects can be planned ahead in order to create an optimally and economically operated property.

The existing blur in costing at an early project stage can be reduced by ""Building Information Modeling"" (BIM), as the current state of building design is digitally available in combination with other relevant information. In early stages of project development and preliminary design project specifications and information of structural elements are not fully available. Due to this fact, an automatic combination of the basic information, which is included in the digital model, with other complementary indicators is required for an early stage cost-analysis. For determining the required information a detailed consideration of the relevant processes is necessary, based on all parameters provided by a BIM model.

Linking cost-relevant processes with BIM enables early cost optimization and determination of project-relevant parameters that are related to building components and floor space. With the ability to forecast different aspects related to the construction and operation of a building, valuable outcomes can be generated, which are able to provide a basis for the further design process. Based on the implication of these early perceptions in BIM an increase in productivity and efficiency is offered in the following design phases. Subsequently this fact offers an economic advantage for all project participants ensuring a sustainable value of the property.